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LA’s First Big Roundabout Coming This Year

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Roundabouts are not really an LA thing, but they are safer

The area where the Riverside Bridge, Figueroa, and San Fernando meet will soon have a unique feature that sets it apart from the rest of the city: a traffic roundabout. Scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, it's set to be the city’s first, says Eastsider LA.

The roundabout will measure 100 feet wide and will direct traffic in four directions without using traditional traffic signals. (There will be "flashing lights" at four designated pedestrian crossings around the circle.) The center will be landscaped and feature a granite statue. Medians will line the streets that intersect at the traffic circle.

It will link to the under-construction Riverside Bridge (expected to be completed in late 2017) and eventually share the intersection with park space marking the approximate confluence of the Arroyo Seco and the LA River.

Roundabouts are not really an LA thing—there was a short-lived one at Wilshire and Western in the 1920s—but they are established fixtures on European roads and are gaining in popularity the U.S. An intersections program manager for the Federal Highway Administration told the New York Times in 2015 that roundabouts reduce crashes that result in serious injuries or death by 82 percent when compared to a two-way stop. When compared to an intersection with traffic signals, the reduction was 78 percent.

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